Eric Mandl, a senior managing director at Guggenheim Securities LLC, put his focus on technology deals aside last night to revel in his love for art at the Frick Collection.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a boy,” Mandl said, standing in the Garden Court of Henry Clay Frick’s residence-turned-museum.
The occasion was the Frick’s Young Fellows Ball, gathering 600 guests in tuxedos and ball gowns. Most were under 40, with many glued to their mobile devices. A DJ in the Music Room played The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.”
“I wonder what Frick would think of all this,” Mandl said. The financier two weeks ago published an e-book called “Emerging from Plato’s Cave -- The Role of Technology in Human Evolution,” a forecast of the future now available on Amazon.
Surely Mandl’s itinerary would have pleased the Gilded Age industrialist. He started by visiting the galleries, where works by Rembrandt and Vermeer hang. They are always there for him, he noted. Frick’s will stipulated that the works he collected not be loaned out. “That means that exhibitions have to come here,” Mandl said.
The recent show that brought Carel Fabritius’s “The Goldfinch” from the Netherlands’ Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis was a blockbuster, thanks in part to the release of Donna Tartt’s novel about the painting.
Last night the galleries weren’t crowded compared to the dance floor and courtyard. Hannah Bronfman went looking at art on her own, thinking of Edgar Bronfman Sr., who died in December. “My grandfather used to say, if I were to become President of the United States, I’d need the Frick to become the White House,” she said.
Elettra Wiedemann, the model, and her producer husband James Marshall paused in front of a country scene by Dutch painter Meyndert Hobbema. “Fort Greene used to look like that,” Wiedemann said, referring to the Brooklyn neighborhood where they live. She was on her very first visit to the museum.
Jennifer Coyne, whose husband Chris is a founder of OkCupid, walked out of the Fragonard Room with a trail of guests behind her. “I’m giving a tour,” she said.
Back in the Garden Court, waiters passed mini chicken pot pies topped by pastry stars, sandwiches with wild boar bacon and blue raspberry meringue “asteroids” -- all on trays decorated with glowing constellations.
The “celestial” theme for the event, sponsored by French brand Paule Ka, included a light installation on the ceiling reminiscent of Grand Central Terminal’s green canopy of stars.
A constellation map was also available as a backdrop for photographs, where event chairmen posed. They included Astrid Hill Dattilo, daughter of Blackstone Group vice chairman Tom Hill, and Rickie De Sole Webster, daughter of Domenico De Sole, chairman of Tom Ford’s luxury fashion house.
Accepting an award from Hedge Funds Care, the hedge-fund manager deflected the spotlight onto the former Yankees and Dodgers manager, soon to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Richards said he’s been friends with Torre since his son Dylan and Torre’s daughter Amanda Rae were classmates in elementary school. Now they’re both high school seniors headed to college.
That long association was a big part of his motivation to help Hedge Funds Care, Richards said. The organization raises money from hedge-fund service providers and managers to fund Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation and other nonprofits that work to prevent and treat child abuse.
“Hedge funds do care,” Richards said at the March 6 benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street, which raised almost $2 million.
Richards got a hug from Marc Lasry and hung out with his family, including his dad, Robert, and son, Dylan, who will be playing baseball for the University of Pennsylvania. Dylan’s publicist -- that is, his mom, Avis Richards, a filmmaker -- said he’s also working on a book, “The Growing Athlete,” about healthy training. Sounds like a Hall of Famer in the making.
The dress code: jeans.
“The idea is, for all my customers, everybody who dresses up all week long, to be able to dress down,” said Daniel Boulud, the chef, restaurateur and co-president of Citymeals. “That does not mean that we are going to give them a discount!”
Lobster & Venison
In fact, Boulud boasted that the event -- which he’s organized for 16 years -- raises “the most per person” of any of Citymeal’s fundraisers.
Dinner on March 9 included lobster, dover sole, venison and banana-and-mushroom skewers, prepared by guest chef Regis Marcon, who has three Michelin stars and is president of Bocuse d’Or France.
Though the chef was French, Boulud said the spirit of the evening was local.
“This is about going out in your neighborhood and doing something good for the people of New York.”
Beth Shapiro, executive director of Citymeals, said 800 seniors have been added to its roster this year as the city’s elderly population increases.
Among the diners: Daniel Ziff of Ziff Brothers Investments and Michael Dorf, the CEO of City Winery, who like Boulud uses his professional talents to organize fundraisers.
His are concerts at Carnegie Hall that benefit music-education programs for underprivileged youth, with eclectic groups of musicians performing for a night of covers of one artist. (Pete Yorn singing “Dancing in the Dark” during the Springsteen tribute is one of my favorite memories.)
On March 31, Paul Simon gets the honor from a slate including Josh Ritter, Judy Collins and Allen Toussaint.
To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at email@example.com